stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
An informative and readable, if necessarily somewhat ghoulish, tour around the history of British executions, by a former Yeoman Warder. Geoffrey Abbot has an engaging style, and slotted the various case histories into their historical context neatly and efficiently.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/7877305
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
The Church in question is the Anglican communion. The war is the bloody mess it has got itself into over homosexuality. And this book is a useful overview of said bloody mess. I learned quite a lot that I didn't know before - I first became aware of the issue at the age of 13, when Lambeth 1998 blew up. O, days of blissful ignorance! This proved very helpful in filling in the gaps.

Bates reaches back into the origins of the debate, fitting it into the context of a changing society - or rather, several different societies, changing at different rates - summarising the opposing theological views, and nobly doing his best to take seriously what must seem to be a huge fuss about nothing to those who are not stuck in the middle of it.

Leavened as this is by a healthy dose of humour (if you didn't laugh, you'd cry, etc), I still found it incredibly painful reading at times, and - usually at about the same times - angering. If it fell down, it was in the relative lack of acknowledgement of the pain caused to the average gay Christian in the pews by all the muscle-flexing higher up. But I'm hardly an uninterested party in this, so...
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
Another book chosen purely by size, I'm afraid, though I come away from it knowing more than I did before, so that's a general plus. I rather suspect that it was written to be read within sight of Stonehenge, or at least at a pub in Salisbury after the visit; it's not entirely clear to the reader who is unfamiliar with the layout of Stonehenge what the author is talking about at any given time. The artist's impression of the original view would be more useful towards the front of the book. Generally informative, though, and covers a lot in a small space, while not getting too deep into the woo woo.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/9948335

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stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
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June 2013

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